And The Kids Turn To Each Other
(Signature Sounds, released Feb. 21th, 2015)
Reviewed by Sarah J
I spent the first listen through this album trying to figure out why I found the vocals so familiar. This is lead vocalist, Hannah Mohan’s first major music project and the band’s debut album, so I knew I hadn’t heard her, or them before, but I also felt they reminded me of someone. I had one of those “tip of the tongue” moments for 40 minutes straight. I insecurely decided I was being reminded of Eisley and a little Neko Case1, but even still, there was something else at work. I consulted my exhaustive music library only to come up with nothing. It was like that moment when you are desperately trying to make eye contact with someone, and you know if were just staring aimlessly, you’d be sure to cross eyes with dozens of people, but when done with a purpose, suddenly the goal is out of reach. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that this hunt wasn’t important. Intensely maddening, but not important. And to a degree, Turn To Each Other happily chattering in my ears made me realize how unimportant it was. Juvenile and fun, but not important.
And that’s part of the problem and the potential.
Turn To Each Other has moments of brilliance and beauty, but the album is also disjointed, trite and hopelessly indie. And yet, I find myself not wanting to talk about the album’s flaws. I find myself much more forgiving than I usually am. I consider that maybe it’s because of that strange familiarity I was trying so urgently to identify. Maybe the hunt for the familiarity was important. While I still can’t pick the right name out of my cap, I did have a small epiphany. This album sounds a lot like the music I first started listening to when I stopped listening to Top 40. Like too few kids, I got bored with the music on the radio at an early age2. At first I explored my father’s music collection of classic rock, but when I explored for myself a whole new world opened up for me. I found a love for bands like Stars, Tilly and the Wall, I’m From Barcelona and The Sounds. I can’t say that And The Kids sounds like any of those bands, but there’s a distinctive early-2000s feel that I can’t shake.
I’m midway through my third listen through Turn To Each Other and it may be “first love” biased, but it’s growing on me. The harshness that may be owed to tracks like “Secret Makeout Party” is not eliciting them from me. And The Kids may be a little late to the party and Turn To Each Other may be a little too bubblegum for my now heavier taste, but I’m still smiling as “Cats Were Born” literally howls into my ears. In short, I can’t give the album a lot of points for originality, but I can for overall listenability3. And they also get bonus points for being hilariously self-aware. On their Bandcamp page they describe their music as “accessible unconscious existential indie glitter popsicle crisis music.”
If for no other reason, check out the album to hear some gorgeous harmonies and to help me figure out: Do they remind you of someone or do they just sound like themselves?
Stand Out Tracks:
1Which is an incredibly flattering combination.
2This comment is not to say that I don’t listen to or enjoy music on the radio.
3…Whatever that means…